Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Plans firm for Coromandel bridge

A construction plan has today been announced for a bridge on State Highway 25A that will reconnect the Coromandel peninsula, bringing more certainty to the region’s recovery efforts.

The stretch of highway between Kopu and Hikuai collapsed after major storms in the region in late January and early February.  

Associate Transport Minister, Kiri Allan said the Government was committed to reconnecting Coromandel communities quickly.

“And this plan to repair the damage along the highway gives us the confidence we can do that,” Ms Allan said.

A preferred tender has been selected by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, a joint venture between McConnell Dowell and Fulton Hogan, supported by Beca and Tonkin and Taylor.

“Their methodology is to build a simple bridge, using off the shelf designs, that can be partly fabricated off-site. This safe and efficient construction approach means the road will reopen sooner than otherwise might be possible,” the Minister said.

The design is for a 110 metre three-span composite bridge with a concrete sub-structure, steel superstructure, and pre-cast concrete deck.

“It’s simple and quick to build and utilises readily available materials, removing an otherwise lengthy delay to get construction materials into the country.

“While the final cost and exact time-frame are still being worked through, announcing the construction team today means the design work and site establishment can progress imminently,” said Ms Allan.

Work is expected to get underway on the ground within the next fortnight. The first job will be to establish site offices and build all weather access tracks for the machinery required. The project team has access to a vast in-house equipment fleet including a variety of cranes, which also ensures they can fast track the process.

“We appreciate how vital it is to reconnect this lifeline. The storm damage to the Coromandel roading network is having a massive impact on travel time, cost and quality of life for the people who live, work and visit this beautiful region,” Ms Allan said.  

“This announcement gives everyone a sure path forward.”

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